Moira loves to hike in the woods with me, jumping over sticks on command. I have set up a stick course for her in the woods that we navigate each day. She can jump over and back and even sideways. Anything for a Greenie! Not bad for an 11-year-old Norwegian Elkhound who clearly loves to eat as naturally as possible. Her diet is of raw meats, fruits and cooked veggies with added supplements. She also looks forward to chewing big beef knuckle bones whenever I can find them locally. Mary Mester Ripton

KATIE TRAUTZ WILL perform music from her new CD “Passage” with Mike Roberts, Julia Wayne and Tyler Bolles at the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Jan. 4.
RIPTON — The holiday season is rolling right along, with it’s merry energy and brightness during these dark winter days. However, it won’t be long before it’s January and we all remember just how long Vermont winters are. But before you despair, mark your calendars for Katie Trautz’s CD release show at the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Jan. 4. During this show, Trautz will perform music from her new album “Passage” with Mike Roberts (electric guitar), Julia Wayne (harmonies) and Tyler Bolles (bass). “Passage” is Trautz’ second solo album, but this one is distinctly her own —...

TIGER SENIOR SKIER Owen Palcsik, left, and his junior teammate Nick Suchomel crest a slope during the boys’ 4-kilometer freestyle race on Saturday at Rikert Nordic Center. Their host Tiger boys’ team coasted to a big win, while the MUHS girls were third in the six-team, season-opening competition. Independent photo/Steve James
RIPTON — The Middlebury Union High School boys’ Nordic skiing team opened its season on Saturday with a dominant performance in a six-team meet at Rikert Nordic Center, while the Tiger girls posted some solid results in finishing third. The Tiger boys placed all four scoring skiers in the top six of the 4-kilometer freestyle race, led by Jack Christner in first and Elvis McIntosh in second. Mount Abraham independent Neil Guy finished third, and Tigers Lucas Palcsik and Zach Wilkerson claimed fourth and sixth, respectively. Mount Mansfield’s Jax Lubkowitz earned fifth to become the only other...

STUDENTS AT RIPTON Elementary School raised $600 for Hurricane Dorian relief at their Art Sale last month. The funds will go to The Humane Society of Grand Bahama and Water Mission Photo courtesy Wendy Leeds
RIPTON — When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in August, Ripton Elementary School students had not yet returned to school for the 2019-20 school year. Although this natural disaster was not directly felt here, many people wanted to know how they could help those who were affected. With guidance from art teacher Eileen Gombosi, students in grades Pre-K through six set out to make a difference by organizing and participating in a Hurricane Relief Art Show. Students created works of art depicting animals that were affected by Hurricane Dorian as well as images of extreme weather events.  Family...

CORNWALL’S BARNEY HODGES is the new assistant director of Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center. Hodges brings a wealth of experience as a skier, coach, organizer and businessman — and passion for the sport — to his new position. Independent photo/Andy Kirkaldy
RIPTON — In February 2013 work to install snowmaking at Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center was completed. Before then, Mike Hussey, general manager of the two Middlebury College ski areas, said Rikert opened about 70 days a winter and attracted about 5,000 visitors a year. But by 2018 Hussey estimated about 15,000 skiers annually made use of the Nordic center’s 55 kilometers of Ripton trails, and those skiers enjoyed an average of 140 days of skiing. Rikert, at the college’s Bread Loaf Campus, also hosts major regional championships every year. And now Hussey said Rikert has made...

STATE LEGISLATORS, INCLUDING Rep. Amy Sheldon, left, and Sen. Ruth Hardy say they will be having a conversation about what ‘control of your hunting dog’ means.
Editor’s note: This story is third in a series. The first, "Bear-hunting hounds attack hikers and pup," was published on October 31, 2019; the second, "Bear-hound attack shocks hunting community," was published on November 7, 2019. On November 26, 2019, Christopher Ross spoke to VPR's Mitch Wertlieb about this story during Morning Edition; click here to listen. VERMONT — State lawmakers have promised to scrutinize the laws that regulate hunting bear with dogs. This comes after a pack of bear-hounds attacked a couple and their leashed puppy on the Catamount Trail in Ripton last month; the...
WAITSFIELD — Two young Ripton residents excelled in a Nov. 3 “Skyrunning” race up General Stark Mountain hosted by the Mad River Glen ski area. Beth McIntosh and Baxter Harrington, 7th- and 8th-grade members of the Middlebury Union Middle School cross-country team, respectively, were the youth division winners of a race that followed a winding course up ski trails to the mountain’s summit. McCormick won the youth female race, and Harrington won the youth male race. They and other members of the Frost Mountain Nordic Club, based in Ripton, competed in the event, as did athletes from the...
Editor’s note: This story is second in a series. The first, "Bear-hunting hounds attack hikers and pup," was published on October 31, 2019. VERMONT — Members of the bear-hound hunting community, along with state officials, have expressed shock over an Oct. 19 incident on the Catamount Trail in Ripton, in which five bear-hounds attacked a couple and their puppy. Such an incident has never happened before, say supporters, who characterize their sport as having a positive culture with strict practices and high standards. Brandon resident Wayne Newton, whose bear-hounds were involved with the...

MERYL SIEGMAN’S HANDS show some of the puncture wounds she suffered while shielding her puppy from an attack by bear-hunting hounds in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Ripton-Goshen border earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Meryl Siegman and Ron Scapp
RIPTON — On Saturday, Oct. 19, around mid-day, a pack of bear hunting dogs attacked two hikers and their puppy on the Catamount Trail in the Green Mountain National Forest near the Ripton-Goshen border.   Former Ripton resident Meryl Siegman, 65, and her husband, Ron Scapp, 64, who have been hiking in the area for more than 30 years, had completed roughly one-quarter of their intended walk when they heard barking, they told the Independent.   “Almost instantaneously we were swarmed by five dogs,” Siegman said.   Scapp described them as “big hound dogs, in the 60- to 80-pound range, wearing...
BURLINGTON — Jennifer K. Doolan, 49, formerly of Ripton, died from injuries sustained in a fall Oct. 18, 2019, at her home in Burlington. She was born June 19, 1970, in Middlebury to James and Barbara Doolan. Jennifer was a 1988 graduate of Middlebury Union High School, where she excelled in sports. After graduation she used her skills developed at Silver Towers Camp to become a caregiver for physically and mentally challenged individuals. She lately was a housekeeper in Burlington hotels. Jennifer loved nature-boating, swimming and horses were her passion. She is survived by her son Brenden...


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Addison County Independent

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